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Kunal S. Patel, Nelson Moussazadeh, Werner K. Doyle, Douglas R. Labar, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a viable option for patients with medically intractable epilepsy. However, there are no studies examining its effect on individuals with brain tumor–associated intractable epilepsy. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of VNS in patients with brain tumor–associated medically intractable epilepsy.

Methods

Epilepsy surgery databases at 2 separate epilepsy centers were reviewed to identify patients in whom a VNS device was placed for tumor-related intractable epilepsy between January 1999 and December 2011. Preoperative and postoperative seizure frequency and type as well as antiepileptic drug (AED) regimens and degree of tumor progression were evaluated. Statistical analysis was performed using odds ratios and t-tests to examine efficacy.

Results

Sixteen patients were included in the study. Eight patients (50%) had an improved outcome (Engel Class I, II, or III) with an average follow-up of 39.6 months. The mean reduction in seizure frequency was 41.7% (p = 0.002). There was no significant change in AED regimens. Seizure frequency decreased by 10.9% in patients with progressing tumors and by 65.6% in patients with stable tumors (p = 0.008).

Conclusions

Vagus nerve stimulation therapy in individuals with brain tumor–associated medically intractable epilepsy was shown to be comparably effective in regard to seizure reduction and response rates to the general population of VNS therapy patients. Outcomes were better in patients with stable as opposed to progressing tumors. The authors' findings support the recommendation of VNS therapy in patients with brain tumor–associated intractable epilepsy, especially in cases in which imminent tumor progression is not expected. Vagus nerve stimulation may not be indicated in more malignant tumors.

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Nelson Moussazadeh, Vishaal Prabhu, Evan D. Bander, Ryan C. Cusic, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

The authors compared clinical and radiological outcomes after resection of midline craniopharyngiomas via an endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) versus an open transcranial approach (TCA) at a single institution in a series in which the tumors were selected to be equally amenable to gross-total resection (GTR) with either approach.

METHODS

A single-institution retrospective review of previously untreated adult midline craniopharyngiomas was performed. Lesions were evaluated by 4 neurosurgeons blinded to the actual approach used to identify cases that were equally amenable to GTR using either an EEA or TCA. Radiological and clinical outcome data were assessed.

RESULTS

Twenty-six cases amenable to either approach were identified, 21 EEA and 5 TCA. Cases involving tumors that were resected via a TCA had a trend toward larger diameter (p = 0.10) but were otherwise equivalent in preoperative clinical and radiological characteristics. GTR was achieved in a greater proportion of cases removed with an EEA than a TCA (90% vs 40%, respectively; p = 0.009). Endoscopic resection was associated with superior visual restoration (63% vs 0%; p < 0.05), a decreased incidence of recurrence (p < 0.001), lower increase in FLAIR signal postoperatively (−0.16 ± 4.6 cm3 vs 14.4 ± 14.0 cm3; p < 0.001), and fewer complications (20% vs 80% of patients; p < 0.001). Significantly more TCA patients suffered postoperative cognitive loss (80% vs 0; p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

An EEA is a safe and effective approach to suprasellar craniopharyngiomas amenable to GTR. For this select group of cases, the EEA may provide higher rates of GTR and visual improvement with fewer complications compared with a TCA.

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Harminder Singh, Walid I. Essayed, Ajit Jada, Nelson Moussazadeh, Sivashanmugam Dhandapani, Sarang Rote, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

The authors describe the supraorbital keyhole approach to the contralateral medial optic nerve and tract, both in a series of cadaveric dissections and in 2 patients. They also discuss the indications and contraindications for this procedure.

METHODS

In 3 cadaver heads, bilateral supraorbital keyhole minicraniotomies were performed to expose the ipsilateral and contralateral optic nerves. The extent of exposure of the medial optic nerve was assessed. In 2 patients, a contralateral supraorbital keyhole approach was used to remove pathology of the contralateral medial optic nerve and tract.

RESULTS

The supraorbital keyhole craniotomy provided better exposure of the contralateral superomedial nerve than it did of the same portion of the ipsilateral nerve. In both patients gross-total resections of the pathology was achieved.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors demonstrate the suitability of the contralateral supraorbital keyhole approach for lesions involving the superomedial optic nerve.

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Kunal S. Patel, Ricardo J. Komotar, Oszkar Szentirmai, Nelson Moussazadeh, Daniel M. Raper, Robert M. Starke, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery is expanding in acceptance, yet postoperative CSF leak rates remain a concern. This study presents the Cornell closure protocol, which has yielded significantly lower postoperative CSF leak rates compared with prior reports, as an algorithm that can be used by centers having difficulty with CSF leak.

Methods

A single closure algorithm for endoscopic surgery has been used since January 2010 at Weill Cornell Medical College. A prospective database noting intraoperative CSF leak, closure technique, and postoperative CSF leak was reviewed. The authors used a MEDLINE search to identify similar studies and compared CSF leak rates to those of patients treated using the Cornell algorithm.

Results

The retrospective study of a prospectively acquired database included 209 consecutive patients. In 84 patients (40%) there was no intraoperative CSF leak and no postoperative CSF leak. In the 125 patients (60%) with an intraoperative CSF leak, 35 of them with high-flow leaks, there were 0 (0%) postoperative CSF leaks.

Conclusions

It is possible to achieve a CSF leak rate of 0% by using this closure protocol. With proper experience, endoscopic skull base surgery should not be considered to have a higher CSF leak rate than open transcranial or microscopic transsphenoidal surgery.

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Nelson Moussazadeh, Charles Kulwin, Vijay K. Anand, Jonathan Y. Ting, Caryn Gamss, J. Bryan Iorgulescu, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

The authors of this study sought to report the technique and early clinical outcomes of a purely endonasal endoscopic approach for resection of petroclival chondrosarcomas.

METHODS

Between 2010 and 2014, 8 patients (4 men and 4 women) underwent endonasal endoscopic operations to resect petroclival chondrosarcomas at 2 institutions. The patients' mean age was 44.8 years (range 30–64 years). One of the patients had previously undergone radiation therapy and another a staged craniotomy. Using volumetric software, an independent neuroradiologist assessed the extent of the resections on MRI scans taken immediately after surgery and at the 3-month follow-up. Immediate complications and control of symptoms were also recorded. In addition, the authors reviewed the current literature on surgical treatment of chondrosarcoma.

RESULTS

The mean preoperative tumor diameter and volume were 3.4 cm and 9.8 cm3, respectively. Six patients presented with cranial neuropathies. Endonasal endoscopic surgery achieved > 95% resection in 5 of the 8 patients and < 95% resection in the remaining 3 patients. One of the 6 neuropathies resolved, and the remaining 5 partially improved. One instance of postoperative CSF leakage required a reoperation for repair; no other complications associated with these operations were observed. All of the patients underwent adjuvant radiotherapy.

CONCLUSIONS

According to the authors' experience, the endoscopic endonasal route is a safe and effective approach for the resection of appropriately selected petroclival chondrosarcomas.